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ESG and your business

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations are becoming increasingly important factors in company valuations and their investment potential for all investors; it is no longer the preserve of “socially responsible” investment. Investment firms are looking to make their portfolio more sustainable and will will judge future investments (in part) on the data provided by a company’s ESG reporting tools.

Socially conscious investing looks like it is here to stay – data from Morgan Stanley Bank suggests that nearly 90% of millennial investors choose investments based upon their alignment with their held values. 

Below some of the key findings from The World Green Building Council’s recently penned report outlining what needs to be done to create a more ESG-conscious world. We will be going into the sections in more detail over the coming months, but for now we’ve drawn two broad categories that the report covers:

Protect and improve health

This year the public’s health has been brought into focus perhaps sharper than ever before. But health is a multifaceted issue with many independent variables, so how can we ensure a healthy working and living environment?

Air quality and water quality must be taken into account when designing and reviewing buildings – higher levels of CO2 have been proven to decrease productivity for example. Many companies now offer solutions for the monitoring and processing of this data and the sector is rich in interest from investors.

Measures to combat infectious disease and mental health support will also be key criteria for ESG-conscious companies in the coming years – see our blog on how employee wellbeing has been proven to boost performance.

Mindfully designed buildings

A few of the concepts here are fairly well-known: good temperature, lighting, and acoustics should be taken into consideration when designing or fitting a space. Further to this, designs should be inclusive wherever possible, while also remaining ergonomic for everyday use.

This mindfulness applies to nature as well. Wherever possible a building’s impact on nature should be minimised as much as possible; biodiversity and pollutants should be taken into account in the construction and running of buildings, and areas of nature should be made accessible for the wellbeing of the users of the space.

The study highlights the importance of considering the buildings impact on everyone throughout its lifecycle, from construction worker to office manager. The building and company’s social impact should also be reviewed – how could the presence of the business add social value to the space it inhabits?

Closing Thoughts

The issues ESG compliance seeks to resolve – climate change, social inequality, poor design – aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and neither is the interest in those business that challenge themselves to meet these rising challenges.

Over the coming month, we’ll be looking at each of the six elements of The World Green Building Council’s health and wellbeing framework and how they relate to your business. Starting with health, comfort and harmony with nature, and then covering healthy behaviours, social value and taking climate action. 

ESG covers all aspects of business, so we hope there will be something in there for everyone. And, of course, if you want to get in touch about anything ESG related, don’t hesitate to do so. We’ve seen a lot of movement in the space recently so don’t hold off!

Socially conscious investing looks like it is here to stay – data from Morgan Stanley Bank suggests that nearly 90% of millennial investors choose investments based upon their alignment with their held values

By Rebecca Garland on 02/07/2021